Threefold Portfolio Offers Broad CoverageThu, 10/17/2019 - 10:32
Q: What areas of opportunity does FLSmidth recognize in Mexico’s mining sector and how are you developing these into new solutions?
A: We have a threefold solutions portfolio. We can sell projects, standalone equipment or aftermarket services. We see very intense activity in the latter as miners strive to make the most of their existing mines. For example, we contribute with retrofitting; that is, putting back idle or worn-down machinery in operation. We also see a great deal of demand for wear liners and composite liners. And we recently launched our FerroCer Impact Wear Panel product, which is extremely wear and impact resistant.
Mexican mines tend to be much smaller than those in other jurisdictions like Chile or Peru, especially when measured by mill throughput. This implies that assets and installations are also smaller, so we must make sure that any investment our customers make is done correctly. To achieve this goal, we invest in R&D and in state-of-the-art products. We have achieved up to 10 times higher durability with many of our products compared to other options in the market. We have technology development centers in the US, Australia, Denmark and Germany. The center for mining is in Salt Lake City.
Q: FLSmidth has a new regional structure in seven mining jurisdictions. How are you creating synergy in North America with this regional block?
A: We see many benefits from this strategy. We have over 80 offices around the world. While they used to be connected as part of the organization, each acted with its own resources. Now, these offices are handled regionally, which implies a better and more efficient organization in terms of operations, expertise and functions. For example, we have around 70 employees in Mexico that now can leverage our much larger North American organization.
Q: Where are you adding the most value to Mexican mining and what are the most demanded solutions?
A: We supply a broad product portfolio partly because we have concluded several acquisitions over the years to improve our offering. For example, we acquired Sandvik’s Mining Systems in 2018, which we are in the process of rebranding. As ore grades in global mining are diminishing, the industry needs more efficient technologies and larger equipment to maintain the same production. Every acquisition that we make has that target: to improve the productivity of the mining system as a whole while increasing sustainability.
For example, we are developing a new solution with Newmont Mining called EcoTails. We are still finishing its industrial testing in Canada but when marketed, it will allow any mine to recover up to 95 percent of processed water. Not only is water a scarce resource, it is a critical resource when establishing the relationship with local communities. This will become a game-changer and have a positive effect on sustainability and social license.
EcoTails will also create geo-stable tailings that do not need water, avoiding dams and the inherent risk of a spill. We are already discussing its potential applications in Mexico.
We are also creating many new solutions related to digitalization. The Smart Raptor Cone Crusher optimizes the operation of the mine based on the sizes of the particles it crushes. This equipment also exports data to the customer, who can monitor its performance remotely and make a diagnosis in case of failure.